Johnny Johnson took his last breath Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre. He was declared dead at 6:33 p.m.
Tuesday’s execution of Johnson is the 136th person Missouri has put to death and the fourth this year. In Johnson’s final written statement, he said, “God bless. Sorry to the people and family I hurt.”
The 45-year-old was convicted in the 2002 kidnapping, murder, and attempted rape of six-year-old Cassandra “Casey” Williamson in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park. He admitted to repeatedly beating the child with a brick when she fought back while Johnson tried to rape Williamson. He eventually killed her after lifting a basketball-size boulder on her head and neck.
The state Department of Corrections said Johnson was given an injection of five grams of pentobarbital.
Missourinet served as a state witness in the execution. After the curtains opened, Johnson looked left toward his spiritual advisor, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and drifted off.
Johnson and his attorney attempted to block the execution including for persistent mental health problems. The Missouri Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court both denied those efforts.
Johnson also asked Gov. Mike Parson to spare his life. The governor denied the request for clemency.
“Johnny Johnson’s crime is one of the most horrific murders that has come across my desk,” Gov. Parson said. “Casey was an innocent young girl who bravely fought Johnson until he took her life. My office has received countless letters in the last few weeks seeking justice for Casey. Although this won’t bring her back, we hope that carrying out Johnson’s sentence according to the Court’s order may provide some closure for Casey’s loved ones.”
Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty opposed the execution.
“There is no doubt or dispute about the accuracy of Johnny’s diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Over the years, Johnny has experienced a series of psychotic breaks that have left him grappling with hallucinations and voices commanding him to harm himself and telling him that someone is out to get him. His delusions have become increasingly alarming, including a belief that the state of Missouri is being used by Satan to bring about the end of the world through his execution.”
Missouri Department of Corrections Spokesperson Karen Pojmann said that Johnson will be cremated and his remains will be picked up.
Johnson’s final meal was a bacon cheeseburger, curly fries, and a strawberry shake.
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